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How to handle negativity on social media

Social media’s main purpose is to bring people together and establish relationships. Of course, social media has changed quite a lot over the last decade or so and whilst it was once for connecting old friends, it’s now also suitable for businesses to get online exposure to thousands of potential customers.

There are a range of platforms for you to get closer to your market too, including Twitter and Facebook which are by far the most popular. And whilst most of the time social media can be a breeze, there comes a time when a challenge will present itself.

This includes a disgruntled customer voicing complaints for the whole world to see. But don’t start panicking.
Dealing with customer complaints online

Whilst the Internet has made it a hell of a lot easier to engage with more customers, it also causes a headache when someone is less than satisfied with the service. As you well know, although customer service is a high priority, sometimes someone is just never going to be happy.

What tends to happen is a past customer will post a negative complaint online. This could be on your company’s Facebook page or even as a Tweet, including your profile name. Of course, there will probably be part of you that wants to simply delete the message and erase it from history, but actually, effectively dealing with the complaint can prove to your future customers how serious you are about customer service.

React quickly and take ownership

Each company has someone different that monitors social media. It could be a designated social media expert, someone from HR, Head of Marketing or even the tea boy. Whoever is charged with keeping a watchful eye over your online presence, ensure to react quickly to the negative comment and offer a solution.

Make sure you know the chain of command and who to send disgruntled customers to. Offer an email address or telephone number the customer can contact to discuss the situation further, rather than have an angry exchange online.

The chances are the situation can be cleared up in this way and can be prevented from escalating. Furthermore, once the matter has been addressed and there’s a happy resolution, you can point this out on social media or even receive a positive comment from the original customer.

 

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How to handle negativity on social media
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Tom Crosswell

I have been managing online projects since 1999 and I'm a experienced marketeer, who is well versed in international brand management, online business strategy and developing long term relationships. Through my academic and professional background I am a specialist in generating online loyalty towards brands. My experience has taught me that ultimately business is about relationships and people. For more information see my Google+ page.

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